Tube? (was: Re: Subway!)
Aaron E. Drews
aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Fri Jun 9 18:59:23 UTC 2000
on 9/6/00 5:43 PM, Lynne Murphy wrote:
> Peter asked:
>> Have Londoners taken to calling the Underground "the tube"
>> indiscriminately? I had it explained to me by a Londoner back in the 60s
>> that "tube" referred only to the routes created by underground drilling at
>> greater depths, like the Picadilly and Bakerloo Lines, and would not be
>> used of routes like the Circle Line, which were near enough to the surface
>> to be created by the "break and cover" method. I think I even read the
>> same thing in some guide book. I've taken it as gospel ever since, but
>> maybe it was always more technical than colloquial.
> I haven't heard anyone make the distinction, but then I don't live in London,
> so maybe people up there are pickier. When I've asked "can I get there by
> tube?", no one's corrected me and I'm typically going on the Circle and
> District lines. The guide for visitors at londontown.com says:
I don't know about in London, but here in Edinburgh (where there are a lot
of Londoners, admittedly), "the tube" refers to the London Underground. The
whole system. But, I sense a drift of "tube" meaning *any* (partially)
subterranean rail system. So, I don't think locals would bat an eyelid if
someone were to mention the tube in Glasgow. In fact, my in-laws have
mentioned taking the tube in New York.
Does "tube" have a [j] (or [y], depending on convention) in any American
dialects? Here, it's pronounced like "chewb", which causes me a slight
giggle every so often, despite years of "scientifically studying" this
Aaron E. Drews The University of Edinburgh
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron Departments of English Language and
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk Theoretical & Applied Linguistics
"MERE ACCUMULATION OF OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE IS NOT PROOF"
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